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Community partners accelerate change with the Eastern Bay of Plenty STEMM Action Plan

Updated: May 15

The Eastern Bay of Plenty is a region brimming with untapped potential in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and mātauranga Māori). Forecasts predict over 40,000 new jobs will be created in the Bay of Plenty region by 2050, many in high-skilled areas.  

Educators, iwi/hapū, and community organisations have long recognised this potential. They run various outreach and education initiatives to enrich students' STEMM learning. However, efforts have mainly been localised and disparate, with funding uncertainties making it difficult for programmes to scale and become sustainable.

That is the challenge that community funders, Trust Horizon and Bay Trust, have set out to tackle. They have recently supported the development of a region-wide STEMM Action Plan for growing STEMM capacity and capabilities.

A collective vision for change.

Trust Horizon and Bay Trust, in partnership with STEM Alliance, convened a 2-day workshop in Whakatāne. This brought together stakeholders including education providers, teachers, community leaders and economic development agencies. The workshop was generously hosted and supported by Eastbay REAP, a long-standing provider of education and community development activities in the region.

Facilitated by STEM Alliance, the outcomes mapping workshop exemplified our approach to collective action through:

  • Building whakawhanaungatanga (relationships), 

  • Identifying common goals and aspirations, 

  • Brainstorming solutions, and

  • Establishing outcomes measures and understanding of collective impact.


Stakeholders shared valuable insights and aspirations, laying the foundation for the plan's development. The vision was clear:

“We see all Eastern Bay of Plenty learners equipped to innovate, solve challenges, take hold of opportunities and thrive. Communities champion STEMM learning, unique to them, which broadens our rangatahi’s choices for their future”.

Charting the path forward.

The STEMM Action Plan provides a roadmap for funders and education providers to set targets, build a collective, and prioritise investment in areas that will have lasting impacts on STEMM capacity and capabilities. It combines local insights from community stakeholders with STEM Alliance's extensive research and experience in community engagement.


Key steps for collective impact


Having a plan is just the beginning.

Strengthening cross-sector connections to become more responsive to community needs will lead to impactful STEMM programmes.

Better programmes and increased STEMM capabilities will ultimately benefit our rangatahi and communities. Equipping learners with essential skills and empowering them to see a future ripe with opportunity. 

Trust Horizon and Bay Trust have taken an important first step by supporting the development of the STEMM Action Plan. But it doesn’t stop here. Funding applications are open for STEM providers and community groups to contribute innovative, collaborative ideas to this kaupapa.  

Read the plan to see what collective action could look like. To find out more about STEM funding opportunities in the Bay of Plenty, visit:

To find out how STEM Alliance could support the development of your community engagement plans, contact the team at


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